By Omar Bah
Chief of Operations of the Gambia Police Force, commissioner Landing Bojang, has said that police operations under the former regime were not in full swing.
Speaking to The Standard in an exclusive interview recently, Commissioner Bojang said most of the police mandates were distributed between the Gambia Armed Forces, (GAF) and the National Intelligence Agency, now State Intelligence Services.
He said because of this, the Gambia Police Force was not operating in full swing as required or mandated by law.
“Our job was very restricted during the former regime compared to our required operation and I have to say that that was and is still my only regret as a police officer because if the police were given their mandate to operate freely we would now have a more vibrant and proactive police operational structures,” he said.
The former Commander of the Operation Bulldozer said since the advent of the new government, the police have taken their rightful place and henceforth taking charge of planning all their operations and execution.
“The operation now is very much what we know of a conventional policing, where we are fully mandated to take charge of our policing activities independently. One significant change is the current enabling environment in terms of police operations and more importantly ownership of our operations based on the police mandate,” he said.
He further highlighted that the Gambia Police Force is undergoing thorough restructuring, “and central of that is the restructuring of the police operational structures for an enhanced police service.”Commissioner Bojang said although there is enabling environment in terms of police operation and many significant gains since the new government took office, “lack of resources to implement most of the police operational activities remains a challenge, especially for my department.”
Described by many as one of the most successful commissioners of Operation, commissioner Bojang said his most memorable triumph as Head of Operations was curbing and apprehending of notorious armed robbers in the Kanifing Division in 2017.
“It could be recalled that for three months, KMC was terrified by a gang of notorious robbers. But due to our intervention we were able to curb to the situation,” he said.
The Brikama Suma Kunda born further stressed that he managed to achieve all that because of his ability to motivate staff in the most difficult times. “The motivation for my staff is inculcation and encouragement of team spirit among them.” he said.